Wednesday, May 25 2022

Former Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen was charged with sexual assault by Canadian authorities on Thursday.

The Vancouver Police Department said in a statement that the British Columbia Prosecution Service approved one count of sexual assault against Virtanen following an investigation that started in May after the now 23-year-old victim came forward to police with the allegation.

According to the release, the alleged incident occurred in Vancouver on Sept. 26, 2017. At the time, Virtanen was playing in the National Hockey League with the Canucks.

Jake Virtanen was taken in the first round of the 2014 NHL draft.Jake Virtanen was taken in the first round of the 2014 NHL draft.

Jake Virtanen was taken in the first round of the 2014 NHL draft.

Authorities added that Virtanen, 25, is not in custody at this time.

In May, Virtanen was accused in a lawsuit of sexually assaulting a woman in a hotel in Sept. 2017. The allegation has not been tested in court.

The statement of claim said the woman, identified only by her initials, suffered physical and emotional damages, including post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety and repeated and ongoing nightmares. Virtanen denied the allegation in court documents.

Virtanen was drafted by the Canucks with the sixth overall pick in the 2014 NHL draft. He played 317 NHL games, scoring 55 goals with 45 assists.

Last season, Virtanen scored five goals in 38 games for Vancouver and was placed on leave in May with the team saying it does “not accept sexual misconduct of any kind and the claims as reported are being treated very seriously.” He was put on waivers in July to terminate his contract after the assault allegation became public. He then signed with the Kontinental Hockey League’s Moscow Spark in September.

Contributing: The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Jake Virtanen, former Canucks forward, charged with sexual assault

Source: Yahoo Sports

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